Xanthea Dewez returns to form in World Junior Skiathlon

Xanthea Dewez posted her best result of the season so far to finish 60th in Skiathlon at World Junior Championships. Anna Trnka and Casey Wright also raced well to finish 61st and 62nd out of a field of seventy one.

The skiathlon event consisted of a 5km classic and a 5km skate. The classic did not go that well for the Australian girls who struggled to put down the speed on the up hills. The tricky snow conditions did not help with the temperature being around zero degrees and it changing from rain to snow to rain which meant that the skis that tested well prior to the race did not have the same grip during the race. Casey was the first to change onto skate skis in 58th and left the change over area on the back of a group of skiers the first of which was in around 50th place. Xanthea came into the change over not far behind Casey and Anna not far behind Xanthea.

Despite the strong start in the skate Casey soon dropped back due to a fall in which she broke a pole. For the next 4km Casey had to ski with a pole that did not quit fit but nonetheless still managed to finish in a respectable time.

For Xanthea and Anna the race was just about to get exciting. A small group soon formed with two Australians, a Kazak and an American. The first 2.5km lap was all about Anna Trnka who went to the front and continued to set a fast pace. As the second lap began Xanthea Dewez made her first move and attacked up the hill out of the stadium initially making a break from the other three skiers, on the downhill section the American and Kazak caught back up and with 1km and one big hill left before the finish Xanthea attacked again, this time only the Kazak could go with her up the last hill with the American dropping back. Over the top of the last hill Xanthea pushed hard but the Kazak and American pushed harder and she was caught and just out sprinted pushing her back from 58th to 60th in the last 200m of the race.

Full results are available on the FIS website.

Brief results:

1. Sara Schaber GER 30:45.8
2. Alisa Zhambalova RUS 30:47.9
3. Anna Dyvik SWE 30:48.8

60. Xanthea Dewez AUS 35:37.2
61. Anna Trnka AUS 36:07.8
62. Casey Wright AUS 36:33.6

71 starters

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